Senator Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that the name of a professional football team isn’t a legitimate concern of the federal government on Meet the Press Sunday morning.
“I’m not much for the government getting involved in the NFL,” the Kentucky Republican told host David Gregory. “I don’t really have a personal, private or public, opinion on what the Redskins name should be.”
Gregory’s question on the Redskins referenced a letter signed by 50 Democratic senators petitioning the NFL to unilaterally change the name of Dan Snyder’s team. “Now is the time for the NFL to act,” the letter sent last month implored NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The Washington, D.C. football team is on the wrong side of history. What message does it send to punish slurs against African Americans while endorsing slurs against Native Americans?”
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), one of the signatories of the letter, vowed this week not to attend a game at FedEx Field until the Redskins change their name. On Wednesday, the U.S. Patent Office cancelled six team trademarks after a ruling called the Redskins name “disparaging” to Native Americans.
Paul referenced the NBA’s move to force a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers because of owner Donald Sterling’s speech and behavior as an example of how private contracts can foster change independent of political involvement. But in the case of the Redskins, Paul said: “I don’t know with the name.”
The senator held that politicians sometimes get “distracted” talking about symbolic fights when Americans face “more important things.” The “more important things” Paul addressed on the program included Hillary Clinton’s failure to heighten security for diplomatic staff in Libya after being asked to do so, how the Iraq War has “emboldened Iran” and led to Islamic terrorists taking over large swaths of Mesopotamia, border security needing to come before work-visa based immigration reform, and the restoration of voting rights for non-violent felons.
Daniel J. Flynn, the author of The War on Football: Saving America’s Game (Regnery, 2013), edits Breitbart Sports.